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Combined effects of microplastics and benzo[a]pyrene on Asian sea bass Lates calcarifer growth and expression of functional genes
Type Article
Asian sea bassPersian GulfMicroplasticsMarine pollutionBenzo[a]pyrene
Microplastics (MPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are priority contaminants of marine environments. However, their combined toxic effects on aquatic organisms are still largely unclear. In this study, the toxicological effects of microplastics (MPs) and Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a representative PAH, on Asian sea bass Lates calcarifer was investigated. Juvenile Asian sea bass were exposed for 56 days to polyethylene MPs (0.1 and 1 mg/L) and BaP (20 and 80 μg/L) as single or combined environmental stressors. The effects of MPs and BaP exposure on fish were evaluated considering several biological indices such as growth and condition indices, the oxidative stress response in the liver, and the expression levels of genes related to the stress, immunomodulation, detoxification, and apoptosis. Exposure to MPs and BaP in single or combined experiments significantly (P < 0.05) decreased fish growth, and altered body protein content and food conversion ratio (FCR), but greater magnitudes of changes was observed in the combined experimental group of BaP80 + MP1. The activities of liver antioxidant enzymes: catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) decreased; meanwhile, malondialdehyde (MDA) activity was dramatically enhanced (P < 0.05). The combined groups with higher concentrations (BaP80+ MP1) caused more severe alterations in enzyme levels compared to the single exposure groups and lower concentrations. MDA was the most affected among the studied enzymes. The expression levels of functional genes involved in stress response (GPX, HSP70, HSP90), pro-inflammation (LYZ, IL-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α), and detoxification (CYP1A) displayed significant alterations as the result of exposure to MPs and BaP single and in combination. The transcription levels of functional genes were more affected in fish exposed to BaP at 80 ng/mL when combined with MPs at 1 mg/mL. Additionally, MPs and BaP heightened the expression of apoptotic-related genes
Researchers ُAhmad qasemei (First researcher) , Ahmad Shadi (Second researcher)